Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-41

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 41

                Thursday, 18 December 1997

Today's Topics:

              Punk Art Exhibition in London
                    Feck The Halls...
              Re: XTC reference (Wannadies)
                        Quick Quiz
                   A Scrooge Among Us?
                    XTC video for sale
You and the Clouds Will Still Be Flaming Me (plus special bonus Mummer story
            Hall of Fame's psychedelic exhibit
                WXRT website.....XTC audio
Glad to hear that! (and where are the Chalkhill's Children's tapes?)
                        YOUR EARS
                     Re: Terry Rolls
                   Well well well.....
          Three Wise Offers from the South East
                     Wannadies , XTC
                     a quick "howdy"
                 Dear God in advertising.
             uffington and a primrose siting
              sly, radiohead, popular taste
                   Wise Men and urinals
                      LIfe Beyond LA
                 Chalkhills Northeast ...


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Chalkhills is digested with Digest 3.5b (John Relph <>).

It's nearer, children's eyes shine clearer now.


Message-ID: <840C6065282CD111A6B400805FEA5AC5169156@BENEXCHG>
From: Gary Minns <>
Subject: Punk Art Exhibition in London
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:32:23 -0000

Anyone who's going to be in London between 6 February and 15 March 1998
might be interested in an exhibition that's coming up.

The Royal Festival Hall is hosting an exhibition of Punk artwork and
photographs (circa 1976-79).  Living in the same neck of the woods as
the RFH, I got a free magazine shoved through my letter box advertising
this exhibition.  The main advertisement photo was of the 7" pic sleeve
for Nigel.  I don't know if there's any other XTC stuff scheduled for
display but we live in hope (even though it is only Virgin's shameless
flogging of XTC that has so moved perception to allow them into the Punk

Admission is free (good old Lambeth Council).



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 20:26:35 +0000
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Feck The Halls...


>I don't believe Andy Partridge meant for 'Thanks for Christmas' to be
>"ceaselessly cynical".

You're right, bad choice of words.  What I probably should have said was
"sarcastic", you know, that whole "It's such a shame it's only one day in
the year..." business.  The song is quietly pointing out that, yes,
Christmas can be fun, but HEY, how about this for a daffy notion - Why don't
we try being nice to each other _all_ the time, instead of just on this
wholly abritrary celebration of something half of us don't really put much
store by these days?  It's just one of those midly seditious songs which,
like The Beautiful South's "A Little Time" (which crops up on those "Endless
Love" type compilations despite being a thrillingly _nasty_ little song),
crashes into the party under cover of a sweet melody.

And agreed, it's a _wonderful_ song.  Both it and Newell's "Christmas in
Suburbia" ("Cheap red wine about a quid or two...", "Party round at my place
after closing time, you can bring your own, there's none at home, I drank it
all, you might have known..." - excellent!) will be played this coming yule.

Sminkipinki ethethetheth ethetheth, boutrous, boutrous ghali


-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Message-Id: <v03007801b0bb4362d32d@[]>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 15:35:07 -0500
From: Curtiss Hammock <>
Subject: Re: XTC reference (Wannadies)

David (sometimes goes by Spanky) wrote in the last digest:

> I ran across this album review in the latest issue of Entertainment
>Weekly and
> thought I would pass along the XTC reference.  Has anyone heard this band?
> Any comments?
> >>THE WANNADIES - The Wannadies  (RCA)
> >>When this Swedish band strains for your attention - as on "You and Me
> >>Song" (also on the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack) - it's worse than the family
> >>dog on steak night.  But when it stays on the quirk-pop track, the grim-
> >>humored outfit communicates a boyish enthusiasm, via a crackling old
> >>XTC/new-wave headset.  Wannas won't die.  (B-)  - Tom Lanham
> I have visions of Ace of Base meet Green Day...

An XTC-fan friend of mine in England turned me on to these guys, and they
are pretty good. Forget the Ace of Base. If any thing, they remind me
slightly of recent Posies. Catchy, uptempo, distorted guitars, and nice
harmonies. They are apparently quite popular in the UK. I bought their US
debut, the self-titled "Wannadies," and certainly haven't regretted it.

Similar to them is another Swedish band, Grass Show. This friend sent me a
copy of their album, and curiously enough, it has a cover of the Ace of
Base song "All That She Wants." You probably wouldn't notice if you weren't
paying attention to the lyrics.


Curtiss R.Hammock II
MacBeth Design
Atlanta, GA, USA


Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: Quick Quiz
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 16:13:10 -0500

Here's a quick quiz pair for you (bonus points for every time zone
difference from Greenwich time to your residence):

What's a moonraker, and what is leucippotomy?

>Mitch Friedman "But most of you will be happy to hear that "You
>and The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful" is a keeper."


Drooling in stupefied delight (no, it IS uncommon for me),


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 16:09:43 -0500
Subject: A Scrooge Among Us?

Hello Chalking Heads...

Allow me to thank you all for your contiuously insightful and entertaining
musings regarding pop music's most under-recognized force. I've never
considered posting before, but something I recently skimmed over on the
list has motivated me to break the silence. I missed the original entry,
but from reading a reaction from someone named Gene, it seems that another
someone doled out some criticism for 'Thanks for Christmas,' calling it,
among other things, 'cynical.'

First, I'd like to announce to the world that XTC is my favorite band,
hands down. One of the many reasons for this is because they write really
really good pop songs. And in today's all-aboard-the-bandwagon,
if-everyone-else-is-doing-it-why-can't-we era of modern popular music,
really really good pop songs are becoming increasingly rare. Not only is
'Thanks For Christmas' a really really good pop song, it captures the
magical essence and lightheartedness of Christmas time better than some
age-old carols. I only wish it were a Yuletide staple known to all, and
that it recieved as much recognition and exposure as other, much less
worthy Christmas tunes. For my money, 'Thanks For Christmas' and Martin
Newell's 'Christmas in Suburbia' are two of the best pop-Christmas songs to
come along. And I think to explicate Christmas songs to unearth or exploit
the writer's Atheist beliefs is a waste of time. 'Thanks For Christmas' is
nothing more than three minutes and some seconds of sheer fun and good
sentiment. Let's not ruin that by looking for a hidden meaning!

It's such a shame it's only one day every year...


Dave D. (Hi Mark!)
"If you can't annoy someone, there is little point in writing." Kingsley Amis


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:15:46 -0500
From: Ian C Stewart <>
Organization: AUTOreverse
Subject: XTC video for sale

A whole boatload of XTC videos for sale,  jet your posterior over to
for the details.

Ian C Stewart,  who is now listening to Simply Red and doesn't care who
knows it.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 14:54:00 +0000
Subject: E


> From: lady cornelius plum <>
> Quote of the year-"I was talking to Brad during the commercial break, and he
> says he goes through six boxes of condoms a month."-Howard Stern doing his
> traditional ribbing of guests. (Brad Roberts the particular guest that day.)

Ribbing... for her pleasure...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

> From: aka Louise <>
> Richard.PedrettiAllen wrote:
> >Pluck your magic twanger, froggy!
> i can't believe that no one has given this answer yet, but according to my
> father, this reference is from the Howdy Doody Show, in which the
> aforementioned line would be spoken by Howdy Doody, and then Froggy would
> appear in a cloud of smoke and an amusing sound effect ("Bo-o-oing!") and
> go "Hiya, kids, hiya, hiya!".

Actually, I also replied... and according to my mom, it's from
another show sponsored by Buster Brown shoes... ah, the title's in a
back issue... I don't know for sure, but she seemed pretty sure of

Biiiiig  fight!!

Ah well.. that's this world over...

Matt (who is depressed that DEVO seem to shorten the intro to Gut
Feeling/Slap Your Mammy when they do it live... on _Mongoloid Years_,
it's 1:47, and on _Now it Can be told_ it's 1:00... and that version
doesn't even have "Slap Your Mammy"... What the hell??)

Living Through | (ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak


Subject: You and the Clouds Will Still Be Flaming Me (plus special bonus Mummer story!)
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 19:30:01 -0500
Message-ID: <01bd09b9$d23f3780$>

De-lurking with my longest post ever and hoping not to get flamed to

In digest 4-40, the ever-informative Mitch Friedman wrote:
>But most of you will be happy to
>hear that "You and The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful" is a keeper and will
>be recorded as will ...

This is the best bit of news I've heard in quite a while!

(Here's where I'll make a bunch of people mad)

Look, I hate to admit it, but You and the Clouds is one of only a handful of
the new demos that I really (gulp!) like.  (If you're wondering, I'm also
partial to I'd Like That and Your Dictionary.)  I have trouble remembering
how the others go, except for Church of Women which I find a bit annoying.

Before you jump all over me, I have to say that I realize that these songs
are just demos and that I'll probably love the finished songs when the album
comes out.  It's not just a sound quality issue.  Hell, nobody knows the
joys of lo-fi 4-track recording better than I.  (as exhibit A, I refer you
to track 8 of CC'96)  But if these 13 songs were recorded "as is" with
better sound quality and rushed to market as the new album tomorrow, I'd be
a bit disappointed with it.

I could defend myself some more, but I'll save it for the wild accusations
to come! 8^(

Ready for a nice Christmas story about Mummer?  Good!  Everybody gather
'round the fire...

Ever since it came out, Mummer has been my favorite "winter" album, and
here's why:

It was a dark and stormy winter's night in late December 1983.  At the
tender age of 20, and having declined to return to UNH, I had left the
security of my parents' home in Manchester, NH to open the Portsmouth branch
of a large record store chain (which shall remain nameless although everyone
had to wear stupid red vests) and be its assistant manager for the
extravagant sum of $200 dollars a week.  That's before taxes for a 48-hour
work week.

So there I was:  Living on a friend's floor, working long days for almost no
money, unpacking, alphabetizing, and pricing zillions of boxes of
honest-to-god vinyl records (including the newly-released import of XTC's
new album, Mummer), and living the college dropout equivalent of the good

And so it came to pass that on said dark and stormy night, the truck
carrying our next shipment, and more importantly, our paychecks, did not
arrive.  My district manager informed me that I would have to take my crappy
Chevy Vega about an hour down Interstate 95 to the Saugus, Massachusetts
store to pick up the checks.

Great.  Hope I don't get lost.  Or killed.  If you were to write a list of
the best cars to drive in a snowstorm, the '76 Vega wouldn't  be on it.

Anyway, I was pretty pissed off, so to keep the trip from being a total
loss, I stopped  at a great store in Saugus that had a lot of cool imports.
Having become hooked on XTC about a year before, I was thrilled to see the
Thanks for Christmas 45 there in the bin.  I paid for my prize, hopped back
in the car, and spent the next 2 1/2 hours making the normally 1-hour trip
back to Portsmouth.

When I got there, I was informed that not only would I not get any overtime
compensation, but that there would be no mileage check forthcoming, either.

Sure, I was pissed.  So I did what any decent, red-blooded XTC fan would do.
I stole that shiny, new import copy of Mummer that had just come in the day
before.  On top of everything else, I was closing that night, so I just
strolled off with it.  Don't worry, the band got paid.  I took my two slices
of vinyl heaven home to the empty apartment that night and curled up with a
six-pack or two and a pair of headphones, becoming lost in the majestic
beauty of Mummer and forgetting for a little while that my life was a total
mess.  The fear, frustration, and loneliness of living away from home
without parental support for the first time in my life was gone for a little

Looking back, I think that the three years that I lived out there were the
best of my life.  Mummer still conjures up memories of a wild, free, and
happy time with endless possibilities and zero responsibility.

Anyway, my glassed shattered the next day when I came in out of the cold.

The end.

Hey, you didn't really expect a happy ending, did you?

Happy Holiday of Your Choice!



From: "Wesley Hanks" <>
Subject: Wonderfulnessingmentlington
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:47:58 -0800
Message-ID: <01bd09c4$a34e4e60$LocalHost@default>

Chalk Friends,

News that made my day:
1) My greyhound doesn't have cancer. (still has the horrid farts tho),
2) My co-workers took me to lunch at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants
for a belated B-day. (now Wes is banished to his shed with his greyhound),
and, 3) You and The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful is a keeper. (flatulance
involved in the recording) ;-)

Wes "They call me Mr. Tums" Hanks

...when we walk down lover's lane we sometimes hit the gate...

[Attachment omitted, unknown MIME type or encoding (text/html)]


Message-ID: <>
From: Martin & Jamie Monkman <>
Subject: Hall of Fame's psychedelic exhibit
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 18:28:51 -0800

Patrick M Adamek writes about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum:

>As an example of what a separate
>exhibit can bring to the public's understanding of a musical genre, I
>thought I knew a lot about the Psychedelic Era, but after leaving the
>exhibit this last fall, I had to admit there was plenty I really didn't

A chunk of the Psychedelic Era exhibit content is now on-line at the HoF
website ... and can be accessed via
<shameless self-promotion>
my Dukes website ...
on the Affiliated (i.e. the links) page.
</shameless self-promotion>

There's a damn sight more to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum than
the inductees.  And, BTW, the list of inductess and "early influences" is
catholic and inclusive.  The inductees may not be fresh-faced young turks,
but time has proven the contributions of all of them.


Our homepage:


From: Phlossdaly <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 21:52:33 EST
Subject: WXRT website.....XTC audio
Organization: AOL (

     Thought I'd take this opportunity to wish all a joyous holiday season.
     I've never seen anyone mention this, so I'll let you all know that there
is a 7 min. RealAudio clip from XTC's visit to the WXRT radio studios in
                                 .......AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.


Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 23:00:04 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Jim S)
Subject: Glad to hear that! (and where are the Chalkhill's Children's tapes?)

>To get the definitive answer as to why there were only 19 songs on the A
>list, I've now been told that there are 21 songs on the A list.

Boy, this is really great news. 21 songs will make the album(s)? Or 21
will definitely be recorded? And it sounds like they are still planing
on a 2-disc set, with the classical and rock sets still
seperate. Cool.

Also...  Has anyone received their Chalkhill's Children tapes yet? I
sent off for both and a bit disappointed that they have yet to
arrive. Any info would be great.

  Jim S.     <>

Serious fan of:
*St. Louis Rams        *Michigan Wolverines          *"JAWS"
   *St. Louis Cardinals          *XTC           *MST3K

Owner/GM of the Amity White Sharks, 1998 Polanski Division Champions
         Weaver League International internet baseball league


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 22:45:10 -0700
From: jimnbob <>
Organization: netcom
Subject: YOUR EARS

You have GOT to be kidding!  Oranges & Lemons is probably one of THE
best mixed albums I have EVER heard.  I'm sorry, folks, I know I sound
arrogant about this but I produce music myself, and believe me, no one
has ever heard me and before O&L, I had never heard of Paul Fox nor his
engineer for O&L, Ed Thacker, <-who is probably most responsible for
it's ultra CLEAN sound  You know, the engineers are the guys who twiddle
the knobs and patch in the effects and have to do the dirty work while
the producer argues points with his agent on the cellular, and snorts
and says things like, "oh, Elton would never do THIS....." I can hear
every single instrument and vocal placed perfectly in this sublime aural
universal presence when this little disc spins.  It tweaks my sweet spot
- the one where speakers and head are evenly spaced. Effects are
perfectly balanced and everything is EQ'd correctly and panned left,
right and center and placed in a clean way that I've never heard before,
headphones or no!!  And yes, it probably went down to analog 2 inch
tape, which means NOT DIGITAL, but was mastered onto DIGITAL TAPE stereo
2 track (maybe DAT) in the DIGITAL DOMAIN and thus MASTERED IN THE
DIGITAL DOMAIN, as well, making it an ADD recording.  If I'm wrong, slap
me! Anyway, hats off to Paul and Ed and I wish to god XTC had used them
again this time round tho Gus' production was ALSO SUPERB.  But I
understand he was somewhat of a snob. or something  Maybe you have a bad
pressing or something. You can argue this directly with me at my above
address if you wish.  I'm not saying I'M PRODUCER GOD or anything - just
know a good mix when I hear it - and to each his own. Hugh has a
noticeable phobia for midranged instruments and Todd has gauze ears
among other things, the old boy.....and ogod give me the
pttth-sssss-swak-a-ptttth-sss-swak-a of Terry CHAMBERS.  WHAT IN HELL
TERRY, PLEASE!!  It boggles the mind!  Imagine........ Just had to get
today off my chest. Thanks chalkers


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 22:48:14 -0700
From: jimnbob <>
Organization: netcom
Subject: Re: Terry Rolls

I don't think Terry could actually be capable of a drum roll. He just
smacks'em, right?


From: LadyCPlum <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 02:05:41 EST
Subject: Well well well.....
Organization: AOL (

No witty repertoire this time out, I'm cutting righ to the chase of

But a word of advice first-Anyone planning on seeing Scream 2, sleep with the
lights on at night.

Todd-Concentration is not the key. Maybe I should use my friends book of
magick and withcraft. But how the hell am I going to get a snip of Dave's

Harrison-Oh but you crack me up. Dave can certainly scratch my belly any day.

And now a word to those of you who have written requesting tapes-Since I
can't reach my mail at school, I need you to email me at this address
( so that I can get the ball rolling, rather than make you
all wait till next year, so HURRY!!!!!

I bought my MANager Upsy Daisy Assortmet for X-mas. I hope he likes it. I
wanted to get him something XTC, but I couldn't decide what, so what better
than a bit of sampler for him?

Well it being 1 in the morning and all, I'd better head off to dreamland.

One more non-XTC note-I've lost all respect for Fiona Apple after seeing her
on Howard Stern. She's pretty damn full of herself for someone so young.

Cheers medears,
XTC song of the day-Child Crusade
non XTC song-Song of Daedalus-Joe Jackson


Message-ID: <>
From: Catherine Sweeney <>
Subject: Three Wise Offers from the South East
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:56:57 -0000

of England, that is.

I see some offerings going on to cheer the chaps up this Yuletime.

So far, I have spotted;

Todd offering to drive the lads around DC (nice one)

I thought about what I'd offer.  It ranged from landscaping Andy's
garden for him, knitting an aran jumper for Colin in Scottish fisherman
stylee, bearing Dave's love child OR putting up a set of shelves for him
with Celtic Rune design to store his CD's.  I went for the shelf option
here,  and I think Dave will be grateful for that small mercy.

I have no idea what I'm talking about here.  I'm just playing it for


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:34:57 -0500
From: Ryan Walsh <>
Organization: Boston University
Subject: Wannadies , XTC

">THE WANNADIES - The Wannadies  (RCA)
>>When this Swedish band strains for your attention - as on "You and M
>>Song"  via a crackling old
>>XTC/new-wave headset.  Wannas won't die.  (B-)  - Tom Lanham"

I've heard that song from the R&J soundtrack...IT's a nice song but XTC
did not come to mind.


Message-Id: <l03010d03b0bc617b165d@[]>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 11:51:54 -0500
From: Mark Christensen <>
Subject: a quick "howdy"

just de-lurking for a second...

heard a muzak "mayor of simpleton" in the grocery store the other day and
felt old.

watched my 17 month-old son dance to "always winter, never christmas" at a
small party the other night and felt young again.

happy holidays from the frozen wastelands of vermont!


 M     a     r      k            C     h    r     i     s     t     e     n
s     e     n
 Cramped  Quarters  Studio  /  Jasperpottamus  Music
 i    n    t    e    r    n    e    t :  


Message-Id: <v01510100b0bcbb0f26de@[]>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 01:25:18 +0200
From: (Per Aronsson)
Subject: Dear God in advertising.

I was watching TV with one eye and half ear when I suddenly heard Dear God.
Little boy singing and all. It turned out to be a rather lousy commercial
for Adelsten, a company from Norway that sells lousy clothes to us innocent

The story in the film was that you should belive that a guy was giving
money to the poor, but at the end we se a girl who buys a scarf. And we
hear Dear God from the beginning to the first linte that Andy sings.

Well, I really hope that Andy knows this and get well payed (hej, Mitch,
maybe you can enlighten our own god).

One good thing is of course that many people now can hear a XTC-song, and
that some of them buys music from XTC and not clothes from Adelsten...

Per Aronsson.


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 13:56:33 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: uffington and a primrose siting

     Hello Chalkhills (this geographic term has a new and greater meaning
     to me now as noted below),

     I've never posted, though I've subscribed for some time, read archives
     for a bit more than some time, and enjoyed the music at all times.

     This may go on for a bit so arm that pg down key....

     I returned from a 10 day visit to England late last night.  My first
     of hopefully many.  My lovely mate, who lived in London for 14 years,
     had been threatening to show me her roots for years and finally made
     good said threat (fortunately she did not have to expose her cerebral
     cortex to do so).

     Most of our time was spent in and around London, visiting her old
     friends (and eating their food, sleeping on their floors, etc.).  We
     did manage to rent one of those cars with the steering wheels on the
     wrong side and take a trip to Wonderful Wiltshire for a couple days in
     the country.  I've read in past posts of jaunts through the English
     countryside, appropriate cassette queued, doing sensual overload as
     the green hills and hedgerows flew by.  I had neglected to pack any of
     my tapes for this particular trip, but I found that the lack of
     magnetic reproduction in no way affected the fidelity of the music
     that I heard within my head as I digested Wiltshire.  For those who
     are familiar with the area, we drove from Salisbury (Old Sarum
     Castle), to Stonehenge, to the only place in England that I had
     insisted on visiting; The Uffington White Horse.

     The weather was dramatic: billowing white and gray clouds in a
     freshly-washed cobalt sky, and a brisk, cold northwest wind to redden
     the cheeks and numb the nose.  The horse is exquisite, Its creators
     were masterful.  We've all seen the pictures, but *all* of you who
     haven't, must dance around that equines eye (a practice which, I am
     told, promotes fertility -- we'll see) and look at the surrounding
     countryside from the horses perspective (it's a bit like trying to
     describe the Grand Canyon to someone who's spend their entire life on
     a small island).  5 Stars!!!

     Another aspect of my trip (and the second half of my heading) which
     may be of interest to Chalkhillians was the siting, very late one lost
     and wondering night in The Primrose Hill area of North London, of a
     car with personalized license plate reading *L8 XTC*!  No doubt
     someone of the "Nonsvch doesn't satiate me anymore" ilk.  And me with
     no flash for my camera.

     Thanks for the indulgence,

                   Dan Meier,
                      Portland, Oregon

     Non XTC song of the day:   Powerhouse, Raymond Scott
     XTC song of the Day:       English Roundabout


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 23:30:49 -0600 (CST)
From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <>
Subject: sly, radiohead, popular taste
Message-ID: <>

Last digest, we were discussing the R 'n' R Hall of Fame:

<<What gives? Yes, yes, "twenty-five years after your career started", but
still, isn't that just encouraging people who _should_ give it up? I'd
rather some were strictly retired or (gasp) had left this mortal coil
before getting in.>>

Yeah. Off the top of my head, I think the only group of performers so
honored who had given up music and vanished entirely was Sly and the
Family Stone.  That was a few years ago, and I think everybody was
surprised to see that Sly was alive, albeit wearing a tatty red leather
jumpsuit.  They were all there, I think. (At the very least, I haven't
heard of members trying to flog themselves on reunion tours under the
band's name...ya can't do anything without your bandleader if his name's
in the title of your act.) *shrug*  Anyway...
  Over the weekend, I finally bought _OK Computer_ after getting all kinds
of unsolicited advice to do's not like I'm starving for ideas
about what kind of music to listen to, and I'm naturally skeptical about
practically anything that's popular at the moment...but can I just say,
JESUS, what a record.  Here's the recipe: stick _Atom Heart Mother_,
Robert Fripp, "Melting Face"-era Peter Gabriel, Sonic Youth, Joy Division,
the Velvet Underground's third record, and Bono-before-he-thought-he-was-
Bowie in a blender, hit puree...drink neat or preferably over ice at your
leisure.  (this analogy has now ended.)
  Quite seriously, this record _is_ that good, particularly if you have
fond memories of either Pink Floyd or King Crimson -- they're present in
equal measures, I think.  However, everything this album represents is
desperately uncool: when's the last time those two bands figured
prominently on the rock scene?  Prog-rock has been dead ever since Trevor
Horn got hold of Yes. I realized quite clearly after crying my eyes out
over "No Surprises" for the third time that the only reason people are
going nuts over this album is because somehow they connect with it
_emotionally_.  What a concept!
   My point is that if Radiohead can have a record like this spread like
wildfire & annihilate the critics, there's no reason the same thing can't
happen with XTC...maybe sitting out the grunge years wasn't such a bad
thing, now that the rock audience at large may have matured somewhat...
  I dunno, just a thought.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 06:24:15 -0800
From: Jon Davis <>
Subject: Wise Men and urinals

So my wife and I are having dinner last night at Red Robin. For those of
you not familiar with them, Red Robin is a chain of "gourmet" burger and
spirits restaurants. I finished my BBQ chicken salad and margarita and
headed for the men's room. It was only after a few seconds of whistling
along to the catchy tune playing on the tinny overhead speaker that I
realized what it was. "Thanks for Christmas" by the Three Wise Men! Of
course I had to hang around even after I'd washed my hands to hear out
the song. Luckily (I suppose) it was followed by some cheesy "Rockin'
Santa Claus" song, so I was able to leave before embarrassing myself
Another strange XTC sighting.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 10:55:25 -0500
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: LIfe Beyond LA


A friend of mine recently entered one of his songs into a songwriting
contest.  He "lost".

*	*	*

I was in two original bands.  The first one was born in 1976 and died of
unnatural causes in 1981. This band was flawed, but was very
satisfying.  We were certain that we were going to make it big, and we
were going to do it on our own terms.  Our heroes were The Beatles and
Steely Dan.  We treated each song as a separate entity, almost
deliberately trying avoid a particular sound.  We arranged our songs
according to our whim, changing tempo and time signatures defiantly.
It was very rewarding artistically, but the record companies couldn't
have been less interested.

The second band was formed in 1983, with a new attitude.   We thought
that we could ride the New Wave, playing music like Squeeze, Joe Jackson
and The Cars.  Again, this band was flawed.  In retrospect it is easy to
see (and hear) that we didn't have a signature.  When U2 came on the
radio, you knew that it was them.  Who did we sound like?

But I think that we had an even more fundamental flaw:  we wanted to
make it big.  We wanted to write hit records.  We were deliberately
trying to craft pop songs that could sell.

One day we found ourselves in the recording studio, and the engineer
said:  "I don't understand you guys.  You love the music of  XTC and
Peter Gabriel, but you play this stuff.  Why?"

Well, because our music was "commercial", we generated some interest,
hooked up with a producer that made our music sound like a radio jingle,
and anyone that was interested promptly moved onto the next band.

How does it look to me now?  Well, I had a lot more fun in the first
band.  One thing I can say for sure:  When you are in the middle of it
all, you can't help but love your own music.  You feel certain that if
only the "right people" could hear it, everything would fall into
place.  A contract would be proffered, a record would be recorded with
the artistic freedom that The Beatles enjoyed starting with "Sgt.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", and you would enjoy a life filled
with music and the comfort of financial security.  If only the "right
people" could hear it.

*	*	*

At the beginning of the "Look Look" video collection, I think Andy said
it best when he said "Well, we got the beer in the dressing room".

Stormy Monday

On the CD player :

"Life Beyond LA" by Ambrosia

"Working this dive it's a matter of time
'Cause I'm a good lead player
 Got a way with a line
 And I can make it"

Ambrosia is finally available on CD.  It is called "Anthology" and it is
a superb record.  If all you've ever heard by this band is "That's How
Much I Feel", (which by the way is a great pop record) you haven't heard


Message-Id: <v03130300b0bdd5261d58@[]>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 14:28:31 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Chalkhills Northeast ...

Greetings Chalklings...

I've had a number of inquiries about another Chalkhills gathering in the
Northeast US, and I'd love to get together with everyone on this side of
the Catskill Mountains yet again.

Last year (Dec. 7th) we all met at Tim Kendrick's place for a day of happy
thoughts and video watching and music playing and pizza eating and beer
drinking and a general good time.

This year, December has been pretty hellish for me -- so I haven't really
had time to raid my idea bank for a place to have a get together. I'm not
going to impose on anyone but if there's someone in the NYC area that has
an idea of where we could have a little party/soiree/rendezvous, I'm open
to suggestion.

As for temporal conditions, I think we should wait until after
Christmas/New Years because that time of year sucks for non-family
gatherings. Let's think of the weekend or two weekends after New Years.
That would mean either January 3-4 or January 10-11. If anyone has an idea,
e-mail me privately.

That's all from here...I'm going to see David Letterman tonight with Greg
Kinnear and Ben Folds Five. Look for me in a red and black rugby shirt. Ta



End of Chalkhills Digest #4-41

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